Valeant’s Stock Becomes (Relatively) Quiet After Wild Year

  • Shares at smallest equivalent volatility range since 2013
  • Canadian drugmaker earnings report scheduled for Oct. 19

After a yearlong, up-and-down ride, shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. are enjoying a period of relative calm. 

Since mid-March, the stock has traded between $36.23 and $18.73, a $17.50 range that’s the smallest band for any equivalent stretch of time since Jan. 7, 2013. That followed an eight-month period during which the shares dropped 86 percent, including a 51 percent drop on March 15.

Last year, the drugmaker became the face of high drug prices in the U.S., setting off a long and steep slide in the stock. Company executives were called to testify before Congress, and federal authorities began investigating.

Since naming a new chief executive officer, Joe Papa, in April, the company has been relatively free of new scandals or stock-crushing disappointments, and there are signs that Valeant’s relative calm may be the norm for now.

Papa has brought in a new chief financial officer, general counsel and corporate controller. He’s said the company will sell its non-core assets to help pay down some of its about $31 billion in debt. And Valeant has promised to follow through with a program to give hospitals discounts on some of the drugs that originally made it a focus for pricing critics.

Valeant’s stock still has the potential to be a roller-coaster. The 90-day realized intraday volatility is higher than any other company on the 13-member Bloomberg Intelligence Specialty specialty pharmaceuticals peer group. It also hasn’t done well by long investors -- the shares are down 28 percent since May 1.

The company, which has a legal address in Canada and is run from New Jersey, is projected to announce third-quarter earnings in the next several weeks, at which time Papa is expected to provide an update on asset sales.

A spokesman for Valeant didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

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